Longtails are better known as Rats. One of the first things you learn when you move here is do not under any circumstances say the word Rat or Rats out loud.
The origins of this barmy superstition date to sea-taboos. Certain words and practices were not allowed to be mentioned aboard ship, for fear of attracting bad luck (or worse, bad weather.)This particular sea-taboo is one amongst many and never used to apply on land. It has become a popular modern myth that the word is somehow "unlucky" and has been adopted by some as a typical Manx weird saying, even though older Manx generations had no qualms in using the word, or its Manx Gaelic version "roddan". In modern times, even non-local and non-superstitious people will refrain from using the "r" word. They take it very seriously here you know. Other alternatives for the superstitious also include joey, ringie, queerfella, iron fella and roddan. Perhaps you know these.
Until I moved to the island I used to say the R. word. Not anymore. I have seen 3 since I moved here( which I have called all Basil of course!) but none when I lived on mainland Great Britain. Newcomers to the island can often be found laughing at the cheeky squirrel they nickname stumpy as they think it's lost it's tail. They are even known to feed them. We have no squirrels on the island, just cheeky longtails that you will sometimes see darting about the bridle path being chased by cat. Yes we can call a cat a cat but a ra.... is a longtail. Don't even get me started on what a longhair is!
Klaus, Imac, Fishing Guy, Ivar, Tom, Louise, Wren, Sandy and others are to thank for the My World neme. Click here for more my world's just for fun again of course.
One more thing before I go.